The Director-General, Defence Research and Development Bureau, AVM Jumo Osahor, says the Armed Forces of Nigeria will require about N9 billion to provide military boots annually to meet soldiers kitting needs.
Osahor disclosed this in a paper he delivered during the Third Annual National Conference organised by the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists of Nigeria (SLTCN) at the Nigerian Institute of Leather Science and Technology (NILEST), Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna State.
The theme of the conference was “The Contributions of Leather Science, Technology and Innovation to the Nigerian Economy and National Security” while the Commandant spoke on: “Indigenous Leather Production and Military Kitting: The Armed Forces of Nigeria Perspective.”
Osahor “The Armed Forces of Nigeria will require about N9 billion to provide a pair of working shoes and boots for each soldier.
“The amount will double if we are to provide two pairs each per soldier every year.
“This huge sum of money, if channelled to the indigenous leather industry will go a long way in revamping the sector and improving our national economy as well as security forces and provide jobs to our teeming youths.
“However, the leather industry in Nigeria is yet to take advantage of the huge potential that exists in the military leather requirements of the AFN.”
The Director-General said the Armed Forces of Nigeria, comprising the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force, all utilise leather materials as part of their military kitting.
“These range from service shoes to combat boots among others. With strength of over 200,000 personnel, the requirement for shoes and boots is quite enormous especially with the requirement of at least two pairs of shoes and boots each per personnel per year.
“This translates to about more than half a million pairs of leather wares that could be provided through indigenous leather production industry yearly.
“At an estimated cost of N30,000.00 for a pair of quality working shoes (Bates) and N15,000.00 for combat boots.”